The Buffalo Bills Finally Proved They’re a Legit Super Bowl Contender by Snapping a Streak From Last Season
The Buffalo Bills made a statement against the Baltimore Ravens. In a battle between two MVP-caliber quarterbacks, the Bills defeated the Ravens 23-20 in a drizzly road game. Josh Allen and the Bills offense overcame a 17-point deficit, with Tyler Bass drilling the game-winning kick as time expired. The defense, meanwhile, came up big time and time again, shutting out Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense in the second half.
A regular season win in Week 4 usually doesn’t mean much, but this one was different. It got Buffalo back on track after losing a tight divisional matchup the previous week. More importantly, though, it took a lot of weight off the Bills’ shoulders, as they conquered a massive obstacle that has been haunting them since last season: the inability to win close games.
The Bills finally won a one-score game
The Bills’ three-point victory over the Ravens marks their first one-score win in nearly two years, dating back to the 2020-21 season. Buffalo has been a force to be reckoned with in the second half this year, as they have outscored opponents 63-7 in the final two quarters, and it was no different against Baltimore.
Allen and the offense scored 13 points and totaled 197 yards in just under 13 minutes of possession in the second half, while the defense forced two turnovers and allowed just 129 yards. That may not seem significant, but it’s a huge step in the right direction for a team that has a tendency to struggle in tight games.
Prior to this, Buffalo was 0-7 in one-score games since last year, which includes heartbreaking losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
In non-one-score games, the Bills are 14-1 since 2021 with the only loss coming to the Indianapolis Colts. In the 14 wins, the Bills’ average margin of victory is 23.4 points.
When they win, they win big. But when the game script isn’t going according to plan, things go awry, and Buffalo tends to come up short. Allen and the Bills stepped up and silenced this narrative with a road win over the Ravens.
Not every game is going to be a blowout, and the Bills finally found a way to win a nail-biter.
Josh Allen showed massive growth against the Ravens after some underwhelming second-half performances
It’s still just a win in October with a good chunk of the season left to play. But in light of the Bills’ success and Super Bowl aspirations this year, the victory in Baltimore was a lot bigger than it seems.
Allen is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and an MVP candidate. Outside of the 2021 postseason, however, where the only thing that stopped him was a coin toss, he has been known to tense up at times.
The Bills lost 34-31 to the Tennessee Titans last season, and Allen was stonewalled on a quarterback sneak on fourth down near the goal line in the final moments of the game. Then in Week 9, the Jacksonville Jaguars upset the Bills 9-6 in spite of being 15.5-point underdogs. In that game, Allen’s second half consisted of two interceptions, a lost fumble, and a turnover on downs in the final two minutes.
Finally, there was the Week 3 date with the Miami Dolphins, where the Bills lost 21-19. Allen played a mostly great game until the final moments. He had a wide-open Isaiah McKenzie for an easy touchdown but left the ball way short, ending the drive.
Against the Ravens, he was much calmer and more collected, as he threw for 108 yards in the second half while rushing for 58 yards and a touchdown. On the final scoring drive, he completed all four pass attempts for 51 yards and got the Bills offense down to the Ravens’ three-yard line to set up the go-ahead field goal.
If the Bills want to get back to the Super Bowl, winning one-score games will be vital. These narrow victories are very common in the playoffs, as the final seven games of the 2021 postseason were all decided by six or fewer points.
Allen probably took a big sigh of relief after his performance against the Ravens. If it was any indication of what is to come this season, he has a great chance at bringing a Lombardi Trophy to Buffalo for the first time in franchise history.
The Bills are favorites to win Super Bowl 57
Buffalo is currently the betting favorites to win this year’s Super Bowl at +450, with the Kansas City Chiefs coming in second with at +700, according to FanDuel.
The offense is firing on all cylinders, and the defense is much improved with the addition of Von Miller and first-round pick Kaiir Elam. On offense, though, there is another player that could be added into the mix.
Odell Beckham Jr. is still a free agent after winning Super Bowl 56 with the Los Angeles Rams. He suffered a torn ACL in the big game and is currently weighing out his options for when he returns. At this moment, it doesn’t seem likely that he will re-sign with the Rams. His best options are with Buffalo or the Green Bay Packers.
Even if the receiver doesn’t come to Western New York, the Bills are in a great position to make a deep postseason run. Being able to close out tight games will only make them even more dangerous.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.